You shouldn’t spend so much time thinking about ways to scare children. And it’s bad form to do so with such a wide grin. People will judge you and lock their doors. If you try to justify it by telling them you are a writer, not only are they still likely to judge you, they may try to entertain you by feigning interest and commenting on how cute that ambition is. And now you’ve lost your audience and appetite for whiskey. Because pity and failure clash with your outfit. And you kind of always seem to be pregnant.
I have been working on the best way to deliver the: Oh, hi there! I am pursuing a career in writing. Please don’t think I am weird and/or lazy and/or delusional line. Should it be accompanied with a promise of drinks and a right eye wink? No. No, that’s kind of misleading. Especially while rocking a baby bump. Would it come off more sincere if I was wearing a wide-brimmed hat? Don’t those people demand a certain amount of your respect? But that doesn’t exactly feel authentic. And hat hair. And I don’t even have a good enough british accent to accompany said hat, so now I am just wasting everyone’s time.
I have always wanted to be a writer. The only difference now is that I talk about it. Maybe, too much. I am currently working on how to be a “good” writer. But the whole grammar and discipline thing bums me out.
I am also awesome at excuses: Oh, I would love to write today, but Dawson had a really rough night so I am going to have to take a three hour nap followed by a bubble bath with a rare bath bead found only in the Portuguese town of Cascais AND I should probably wait until it’s at least 78 degrees outside AND oh, goodness, look at that, my coffee is lukewarm and my feet itch and isn’t now the perfect time to research smoothie recipes and I am pretty sure the full moon is in three days so…
It’s all petty bullshit, of course. I have waited for the right time to write for way too long. But lately, I write every chance I get. Which will really help with baby #2 making her world debut in a month. Talk about the best kind of deadline and the perfect push (preg pun) of motivation.
Over the past few years I have learned the difference of saying you are a writer and actually committing to a writing regime and you know, doing the work. It’s hard. And I thought there would be more travelers on this road — it’s remarkably lonely for this beaming extrovert.
Lately, I write a lot about being a mom. It’s something people can relate to. Whereas, pursuing a career in children’s writing, doesn’t really pique the curiosity or attention I so often fight for. Write what you know, eh? Well, I know baby shit stains like no one’s business. Also, my son desperately needed another online platform to parade about in.
So, what do I choose to write? I am currently on a couple different adventures. One is my book. I started writing it the week I got back from my honeymoon — so, uh, years ago. The central theme has remained the same, but the elements/characters/obstacles have changed quite a bit over the years. And it was only very recently that I realized what my main problem was — I was trying to write two different books. Pretty fantastic on their own, but together, a super cute mess. So, that is where I am currently at: dividing the two stories, making sure they are strong enough to stand alone, and (with a heavy heart) shelving one right now to complete the other.
I also blog. Not consistently or well, as you have all witnessed. But blogging is such a great way to get your words out without worrying too much about perfecting your craft and spellchecking every damn thing. Free-writing is a gorgeous use of my time. And a great way to connect with others when you are covered in baby vomit and fear venturing too far outside.
The goal? To be a published children’s author. The biggest dream? To have a Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction series out and successfully living in the world. I eventually want to write chapter books, as well. But mainstream literary fiction is just not my gig. Sorry to disappoint.
My biggest inspirations? Roahl Dahl, R.L. Stine, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling. I’m like a dirty mix of the lot.
Is it worth it? When stories are constantly playing in your head and you have waited your entire life to let them breathe, yeh, it really is. Even with the constant doubts and frustrations and lack of writer friends who speak your language.
So, yeh, I want to scare children for a living. But I also want to make them excited and nervous and happy and sad. I want to bring out every emotion in my future audience. I want them to like me. I want them to live for my characters. And I want my own children to be proud.
I am a writer. Nice to meet you. Please ignore the wink and the hat.